Annemarie Musawale – EAFF Profile

The EA Friday Feature is a circle of five writers who write 1,000 word flash fiction stories every Friday and post them on their blogs.  This week, we feature these authors, as we get to know them better, and learn what inspires them to write their stories.

Annemarie from Child of Destiny

I love her stories because they always touch on the paranormal, the other world, or just plain fun.  Her wit makes me laugh, and let’s not forget the love of Sam and Dean in Supernatural.  This October, she’s worked on her story about a man named Bulitia.  He’s a man taken from his home and thrust into a new world, this story reminds me a bit of Amistad.  Annemarie has also published a book this October.

Child of Destiny is her third book out…here’s a short glimpse.

….“Where’s your grandmother?” he asked, in a tone that strove for light curiosity but ended up sounding 9adeaa199e5a6176d119271c9da987e2e13ff309merely exasperated.

She narrowed her eyes at him suspiciously; he noticed that they became almost black.

“Why?” she asked.

“Well, I’ve been here three times and haven’t really seen her. I just wondered…” he replied, managing this time to sound casual about it.

She seemed to think about his answer like she was searching for loopholes or hidden implications.

“She went to New Orleans,” she replied finally,“for the festival.”

“Festival?” he asked, intrigued.

He put down his brush and sat on the floor facing her.

“The Feast of the Dead,” she replied.

“The feast…of the dead?” he asked tentatively.

“Yes,” she replied without embellishment.

“You mean like Toussaint?” he asked, accenting it correctly in French.

“Yes,” she said in surprise that he knew that name.

“But…isn’t that like, on Halloween?” he asked, trying to get her to speak in more than one syllable.

“It is.” She replied.

He raised his eyebrows at her, and kept silence so she would be forced to fill it.

After a minute of staring, she sighed and said, “My grandpa George is buried in the family crypt in New Orleans. Every year, my grandmother and…other friends gather to celebrate the day of his death which was 17th of August, 1980. They prepare immortelles for his grave, burn candles and tell stories to remember him. It is a ceremony that starts on the day of his death and concludes on Toussaint or the All Saints Day as the Christians call it. This year is special because it’s the ten year anniversary of his death.”

This little speech brought up so many questions for him; he didn’t know where to start…

“By friends, you mean other witches?” he asked her, wondering if she would answer.

She did not generally talk about her witchyness. If it hadn’t been for The Charlotte Incident, he probably wouldn’t have believed the stories.

“Witches, warlocks, other family members…” she replied with a shrug…”

Read more of this story, get the book here: Child of Destiny

Author Profile:

Annemarie Musawale is a free spirited single mom with a passion for reading and writing stories.  She’s lived in Nairobi, Kenya for most of her life but considers herself to be a citizen of the world. She is a very cerebral person, able to exist mostly in her head which is very advantageous because the life of a writer is rather solitary. Her first story was written at some point in nursery school and her mother said, “Very Good, keep going”, so she did. But somehow she did not consider it as a career choice. She assumed writing stories is just what people do…like in their spare time. However when her son was about nine, he got a serious respiratory infection that required him to be admitted to hospital. Her job working as a pharm tech for a chemist meant she could not get any leave time to go be with her son in his time of need. That was when she considered a career change which would give her greater flexibility. Enter Academic Writing…which lead to other types of writing for money. Somehow, through that process, her first book, Child of Destiny was written and submitted to the Kwani Manuscript Project.  The rest is kind of history.

Elly in Nairobi:  You have recently published a book, Child of Destiny, tell us a bit about this book.
Annemarie:
Child of Destiny is the first book I wrote in this series (Child of Destiny series), yet it’s the last to be published. It’s about the power of love to overcome and what the magic of love can produce if you let it. It’s totally not a romantic story though. It serves too much realness for that. But because of its realness, it seems to me to be likely to happen sometime somewhere. That’s what I try to do with all my stories however outlandish; make them likely. I really enjoyed writing this one; I didn’t hold back in any area and people might go from fanning themselves in arousal to embarrassment. Hopefully it starts some conversations going. Mostly I just really want people to enjoy it.

Elly in Nairobi: What inspires you to write fiction?  What is your favorite thing about writing fiction?
Annemarie:
The thing I love about fiction is the creation of worlds and universes that both the reader and the writer can escape into when reality gets too harsh. Its also just another form of being a creative being that
God made us to be. Everyone has the gift of creation;mine is stories.

Elly in Nairobi:  What is your day like?
Annemarie:
My day begins with checking my mail and then my social media. After that, I set up my ‘office’ either on my verandah or my living room depending on the weather and my mood. Have some breakfast and get to
work. Sometimes I exercise before starting on my workday, other times I don’t. Depends on my energy levels. I write most of the day sometimes until past midnight with one or two stops for meals and lots of tea.

Elly in Nairobi:  The quirkiest thing you’ve done lately.
Annemarie:
The quirkiest thing I’ve done lately is DM Rihanna on twitter a link to my book I guess.

Elly in Nairobi: What is it like for you writing the EA Friday Feature?
  Annemarie: I enjoy the camaraderie of having five other writers collaborating with me. It’s a window to other worlds and teaches me something about how other writers are doing things. It also gives me feedback on my writing which is wonderful. I love honest feedback.

Elly in Nairobi Anything you’d like to tell your readers, and new fans.
Annemarie:
I’d like to tell my readers that I have created the Child of Destiny universe for their enjoyment and maybe also they learn something new they didn’t know. I try to base my legends and all in actual historical fact as much as possible though I don’t let the truth get in the way of a good story. I hope you all enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Get her Book today:
9adeaa199e5a6176d119271c9da987e2e13ff309

Download it at Smashword

Price: $5

 

Thank you Annemarie for taking the time for this short interview.   I look forward to reading more stories from your blog.  Look forward to an interview from Vincent of Flashes of Vice

 

Gardening for the Soul

aloe piece5
Aloe Vera Plant

Saturday was one of those days you just want to forget because nothing is going right.  From work, to interacting with people, to commuting, everything was just whack!  I got home, and I just wanted to bury myself under the blankets for at least twenty-four hours.  Alas, it was during the day, and sleeping with the sun up, is just hard for me. So, my mum dragged me out of the house and we went digging up the flower garden.  There is nothing like sinking your fingers in dirt. Stress, all annoyed and disturbed thoughts just disappear.  Our garden is right in front of the house, and the old flowers were getting boring. We decided to gut them out and decided to replant some new ones.

 

gutting aloe vera6
Separating Aloe Vera plantlets

 

Aloe and Iris4 This is the garden after we were done planting the Aloe Vera and a pretty flower called Florentine Iris.  It looks pretty puny right now, but the rains are here, and they’ll shoot up fast.  The Florentine Iris is especially pretty when it grows flowers.   iris-germanica-florentina-flower

I can’t wait to see a garden full of these flowers. 

my gardenAloe and Iris27

This little exercise had me forgetting the seriously disturbing events of my day.  It was gardening for the soul, ^_^!

pretty treewhite flowers2

On a side note, this huge tree grows outside our house too.  Every year, it gets these white flowers that bloom for like a day, before they fall down to the ground covering the whole area.  Pretty isn’t it.

Song of the moment: Rita Ora – Grateful

 

 

  

 

 

Picture Perfect 10

Chapter 10

Eric smiled when Victoria gave a small gasp when he opened the door to reveal stairs that led to the upper floor of the building.

“You have an upstairs,” she said in awe as he led her up the short steps.

“Yes, I got the space two years ago. I use it as a gallery, office or rest area, whatever I need.”

“Intriguing,” Victoria said tightening her hold on his fingers when he got to the top of the stairs.

She hurried up the last two steps and he gave her an appreciative glance. She looked gorgeous today. Her dress accentuating her full curves, the heels made her seem taller. He loved her natural hair the most. The dark tresses framed her face, so soft he wanted to reach out and run his fingers through it.

Meeting her curious brown eyes, he read a dozen questions in her honeyed eyes. Clearing his throat, he tugged her hand and led her to a large white worktable he used to examine prints. Taking her bag from her, he placed it on a coffee table laden with magazine and old newspapers. Pulling two office chairs, he adjusted the height for her.

“Sit,” he ordered, turning on the lights over the white table. “I thought you might like to see the photographs I took on Saturday.”

She sat down and removed her heels again.

“From Beth’s wedding?” she asked.

“Some of them,” he said with a smile. “I’m still working on the ones I’m going to give to Beth and Taylor. There is no hurry since they’re going to be away for a while.”

The truth was he’d spent his afternoon yesterday working on the spontaneous photos he’d taken of her. Not wishing to reveal just how interesting he found her, he picked up the bundle of prints he’d left on the corner of the table. Pulling up the second seat, he placed the first picture on the clean white table, and watched her reaction when she saw herself.

He’d taken a picture of her at the Savon Hotel. She stood by one of the ballroom windows, the morning sun falling over her as she spoke to Taylor and Beth.

“I didn’t realize you were taking photos that day,” she said, her tone quiet. “I don’t look like myself.”

He chuckled.

“You were all business that day. Don’t you look intimidating?”

She shook her head, an embarrassed expression gracing her features. He put the one he’d gotten from the wedding photos batch before her and she gasped. He understood her reaction perfectly. The woman seated on a bench in the gazebo was different.

Happier, he thought.

He’d captured her just as she was looking back at the vibrant white bougainvillea. She was like a dark goddess overseeing her flower kingdom. Vibrant in red, her profile beautiful and mystical.

“I’m sure this isn’t me,” she said with a pleased laugh, as she bent closer to look at the picture. “You’ve doctored this.”

He shook his head.

“Not at all,” he said truthfully, and laid out the rest of the pictures he’d taken of her at the wedding. His smile widened as she oohed in awe.

“This one is my favorite,” he said pointing to the one he’d snapped when she got out of the car. Her arms stretched wide, her smile carefree, the skirts of her dress floated around her, teased by the wind.

“I like this one,” she said picking out the one of her in the gazebo where she was facing the camera, with a small mysterious smile on her lips. “Can I keep it?”

He took it from her and studied it for a moment. She looked vulnerable in the picture. He hadn’t seen that before. Her brown eyes were bright with an unknown emotion. He’d have loved to know what she was thinking at that exact moment.

“How much?” she asked still looking at the photographs on the table.

“No charge,” he said quietly, “although, you might have to pay a toll.”

“What type of toll?” she asked.

A frown creased her smooth brow when she looked at him. Her eyes stunning in the light, that slow burn in his gut filled him and he wasn’t aware of having moved. He leaned and covered her mouth with his. He kissed her, amazed by the wild burst of electric thrills that raced down his back. He broke the kiss and met her surprised gaze.
Victoria brought her hand up to touch her lips, her brown eyes wide.

He cleared his throat and smiled.

“I’ll give you the pictures,” he said and took the one she’d pointed out. “Although, I’m keeping this one you like.”

“But-, I want that picture,” she said after a moment. “Choose another one.”

“If I keep this one, it will give you a reason to come and visit me,” he said putting it aside.

He gathered the rest of the photographs and put them in a new brown envelope he got from a drawer.

“Why did you kiss me?” she asked when he held out the photographs.

“Because I like you,” he said, leaning his elbows on the table when she took the envelope. “Do you want to see more photographs?’

She hugged the envelope he’d given her and nodded. He got up and hurried to a desk he had close to the wall.

There he retrieved five bunches he’d set aside this morning.

They spent the next two hours going through the photos he’d taken on his different assignments during the week. She exclaimed over a designer’s creativity when he showed her dress designs he’d taken the week before. She fell in love with photographs he’d taken on his trip to Marsabit, and Samburu. She loved the landscapes, huge rocks and the acacia trees he’d captured in the sunset.

When she got tired of the office seats, he tugged her to a couch by the window. She sat on one corner of the couch, and he took the other. When she stretched her feet on the cushions, he moved them onto his lap and massaged them while they talked about his trips around the country.

“I’ve never gone beyond Nyeri,” she confessed at some point. “Compared to you, I think I’d be considered unpatriotic. I’ve only visited one National Park in my adult life.”

“Not many people visit these places,” he soothed running a firm thumb over the elegant curve of her in-step.

Her feet were so soft; he could feel them through the thin layer of stockings she wore. He wished he could see her toenails and find out what color they were today.

“If you were given a chance, where would you like to visit? Somewhere within the country, but don’t say the Coast.”

She frowned throwing a round pillow at him. “How did you now I was going to say Mombasa?”Lake Nakuru

“Everyone wants to visit the beach,” he said with a matter of fact tone.

“Fine, I’d go to Lake Nakuru,” she said. “I’d go see the flamingos.”

“That’s an exciting place to go,” he nodded in approval. “When can we go?”

“What?” she asked in surprise.

“Let’s go to Lake Nakuru,” he said.

Victoria gave him a skeptical glance. “Eric, just like that?”

“Yes,” he said with a short nod. “I’m taking in my Jeep for service tomorrow. Once it’s done, we can fuel it; get some tunes, water and snacks. We’ll be good to go.”

She shook her head. “I can’t just take off and go to Lake Nakuru with you. My schedule is full. I have-”

“Life is pretty short, Victoria,” he said squeezing her foot gently. “Next year, next month, next week, you’re still going to have a full schedule and no time for yourself.”

She studied him for a moment before she shifted on the couch and moved her feet off his lap.

“Eric-,” she started as she sat up.

“What?” he asked.

“My life is not like yours.”

“What does that mean?”

“You run around taking photographs, taking trips to far off places. I’m tied up at the Savon-”

“Take time off,” he cut in to her little tirade.

“Even if I do, we only met last week,” she said, giving him an incredulous expression.

“We’re getting to know each other,” he said with a smile. “A trip to Lake Nakuru will definitely bring us closer.”

She stared at him, and then bit back a yawn. Glancing at her watch, she frowned.

“Jeez, it’s almost ten o’clock at night. I have to go.”

He sighed; disappointed when she stood up and went to get her shoes. He wanted more time, always more time.

“I still want an answer,” he insisted as he watched her wear her shoes.

“Thanks for the massage, my feet are incredibly happy,” she said with a small smile. “Are you headed home?”

He got up and nodded. “I’ll drop you off. Will you go to Lake Nakuru with me?”

“I’ll think about it,” she said.

“How about we make a deal?”

She picked up her handbag from the chair.

“If I agree to do your Savon Hotel PR project, you have to promise to take that trip with me.”

She frowned. “How long will it take you to do the photos?”

“That depends on what your team wants. It could be a day or two, a week at the most, I don’t know. I haven’t seen the proposal,” he said with a negligent shrug.

She studied him, and then nodded, “Fine, but I have a demand of my own.”

“Tell me,” he said moving closer to her.

“I get to bring Olive or Grace, whoever is available,” she said. “Feel free to invite whoever.”

Wicked woman, he thought as she turned smartly and headed for the stairs. She knew he wanted to spend time with her, and only her. When he didn’t move to follow her, she paused at the stairs.

“Are you coming?” she asked.

He chuckled when she continued down the stairs, charmed by her ability to draw him in so completely, he felt lost when she walked away from him. He turned off the lights over the table, and followed her downstairs. Linda had left the hallway light on. He reached for Victoria’s left hand when she started walking out toward the reception area.

“This way, we have a back door,” he said lacing their fingers.

At the end of the hallway in the opposite direction, he unlocked the back door with his keys. He got out first to make sure no one was waiting for them. She followed him, and he switched off the hallway light and set the alarm. Locking the backdoor, he turned to find Victoria rubbing her upper arms in the cool air.

He removed his light jacket and placed it over her shoulders. He rubbed her arms through the fabric.

“Better?” he asked.

“Much,” she nodded.

He pressed a kiss on her forehead and led her to his Jeep parked on one of the two spots behind his building.

“So you’ll only go with me to Lake Nakuru if you can bring Olive or Grace along,” he resumed their conversation when he drove out of the parking lot.

“Yes,” she said tugging his jacket closer. He joined traffic on the Argwings Kodhek road.

“What if I want to spend time alone with you?”

She gave him a blank look as he turned on to her street.

“Well, I guess we’d have to make time to meet in social places.”

He laughed.

“You’re just avoiding me,” he accused. “Fine, if that’s the way of it, make time for me tomorrow evening.”

“Tomorrow?”

He stopped the Jeep at the black gates outside her apartments.

“Yes, we’re going for dinner. A proper one this time since I made you work tonight.”

Victoria removed his jacket and placed it nicely on the back seat. “It better be a nice place.”

He chuckled. “I’ll do my best.”

She reached for the door lock. “Thanks for the ride.”

She glanced at him with a small smile and he leaned in to capture that smile in a kiss. She froze for a moment, then her lips merged with his, softening as she met him. Bursts of heat ran through his body, and he cupped her cheek, wanting to haul her against him and kiss her harder.

But it was too soon, too fast, he ended the kiss to find her eyes closed.

He ran his index finger over her soft left cheek, a soft caress.

“Goodnight, Victoria.”

“Goodnight, Eric. Drive safe,” she murmured and got out of his car without another word.

****

To be continued….Thank you for reading ~_~!!

Previous Chapters

Blog Giveaway – One Ticket to Storymoja Hay Festival 2014

The Storymoja Hay Festival is 7 Days Away..they’re moving very fast, Speeding I tell you….

It’s been an exciting journey on my end.  Going through the program, working with the other interns as we prepare to be part of the festival.  We now have our jobs and know what our roles will be during the festival.  We’re excited to meet you at the festival, and help you out, as you experience the Storymoja Hay Festival.

If you’re coming, and have your ticket, Great! Count the days!

If you’re not convinced and are on the fringe, here are a few things that you mustn’t Miss:

Masterclasses

What is a Storymoja Hay Festival Masterclass?

It is an interactive 3 hour session that draws from the Session Leader’s experience to encourage and inspire creatives…Session Leaders are Writers, Poets, Musicians, Filmmakers, Journalists, Illustrators, Affluent Entrepreneurs and many more…brought together by Storymoja Festival

Masterclasses are wonderful for people interested in a particular industry. People who want to learn more about writing both fiction and non-fiction.  There are blogging masterclasses.  There are topics on film, poetry and art, even entrepreneurship.

Expect to see Vuyelwa Maluleke, Chief Nyamweya, Alexander Nderitu, Mathew Shenoda, Dilman Dila, Prajwal Parajuly, Tony Mochama, Jackson Biko, Dizraeli & L-ness and so many more….

An Example: 

Masterclass: How to Make Awesome Comics with Chief Nyamweya

Roba-v-Poachers-1-Tuesday-160413
Roba v. Poachers Photo Courtesy of thetsunamistudio.com

It is scheduled on Wednesday 17th from 2.30 pm to 5.30 pm.  If you’re interested in drawing comics or even reading them, sign up for the class and spend these three hours having a conversation with Chief Nyamweya who is a talented and creative illustrator, you’ve read his work, Roba published by The Star newspaper, if not go check it out! You get to ask him questions about his work, the industry, and any other burning questions you might have.  He too will ask you questions.  You’re welcome to having a lively discussion in this space.  If you want to be an illustrator, this is the perfect opportunity for you to learn more about what it takes.

Sign UP Here for this particular Masterclass.

Cost: Kshs. 500 per Masterclass. (On top of your Festival Entrance Fee)

Masterclasses are scheduled for Wednesday, September 17th, 2014 – Friday, September 19th, 2014

Visit this Link for More Masterclasses.  Sign UP now so you don’t miss a Spot.  You don’t want to miss a Discussion with your favorite Writer, Poet, Filmmaker, Journalist, Artist, Musician….so many are coming.

Children’s Program

joanne-ball-burgess
Joanne Ball-Burgess

This runs from Wednesday September 17th, 2014 to Friday September 19th, September

We’ll have loads of students coming to the Festival and experiencing the different sessions prepared just for them.  There will be stories and songs at the Koko Riko Tent, Dance with Poetry at the Kanga Tent.  The Kanga Tent will have Joanne Ball-Burgess from Bermuda.  She’s an accomplished Dancer and a Sakata Dance Competition Judge.  Don’t miss out on this!

There are Spoken Word sessions with Dizraeli (UK) and L-ness (Kenya)  Find the Careerpedia Tent where students get Tips from Successful Entreprenuers like Rose Maket from Alive & Kicking and Ritesh Doshi (Naked Pizza).  There are so many guests, I can’t name them all, you just have to make it to the festival.  Parents, get your kids to this three-day Program if possible.  The festival is hosting over 2,000 students.  Don’t be left out!!

Cost: Kshs. 1,000 at the GATE.

Weekend Events

WEEKEND Events include The Launch of Diaper Mentality Exhibition and an Exhibition of Our Nairobi: A Westgate Memorial.

Enter the Dome for a Wangari Maathai Memorial Lecture with Professor Wole Soyinka (Nigeria).

The Careerpedia Tent has fun reading sessions.  Have a conversation with Ms. Joanne Ball-Burgess, Shariffa Keshavjee, and Harriet Matsaert.  There will be a children’s book launch happening.   H_ART the Band is in house at the Courtyard discussing poetry with other Kenyan poets.  Teju Cole is in house celebrating Nigerian Writers.  Filmmaker Kenny Man launches her film Beautiful Tree, Severed Roots.  The Drumbeats Romance Series brings a session on How Do Africans Kiss? With the Drumbeats Writers and Editors. (Hot Discussion. Don’t miss it!)

Explore the Program Schedule, it’s packed with amazing events that will leave you excited, inspired, and wanting to change the world! Both on Saturday and Sunday!

I hope that is enough to convince you to come……What?

Not Enough yet?….Well…..

Alright…. how about……

After 7 PM on Saturday, it’s time to Party!!!

Saturday Night, One Time Performance….

One Stage you get SAUTI SOL(Kenya) , DIZRAELI (UK) AND BERRY HEART (Botswana)!!

index2
Sauti Sol – Band

One big stage, all you have to do is bring those books you don’t read in your house, you know the ones on a shelf you pass by everyday without giving them a thought.  Those ones, bring them over and help fill a parked Matatu (public service Van) with books.  The goal is to help Storymoja’s START – A – LIBRARY stock school libraries!! Great Cause right…….(****lost in thought***)

Sorry, I was just imagining @Sauti Sol on stage, singing…Dizraeli…getting down on stage…And Berry Heart…giving a heart stopping performance…yeah, no sleep required on Saturday!!..

The ticket for this Event is separate from your Entrance Fee!

index3
Dizraeli

Yeah, I know….but you can just buy the ticket for this which is Kshs. 1,000.  Show up at 7 pm, and experience the concert. (If you do this, we’ll miss you during the day….^_^) So, we hope you get both the day’s ticket and the Concert Ticket.  Support Start-a-Library.

Okay!! Now you really must come to the Festival! #GetFestivalTickets

I really hope to see you guys at the Festival.  We’re counting down the days now. I’m excited, nervous…excited…what about you?  Hey, go get a ticket so we meet there okay.  Ticketsasa.com/ Storymoja Hay FestivalYou don’t want to be left out of this!!

Now for the Blog Giveaway!!

Blog Giveaway

I have the hook-up for one lucky person!  Only one!

Saturday passIt’s a FREE TICKET – SATURDAY EVENTS FROM 9am to 7 pm

This blog is collaborating with a fabulous Online Bakery named Amari Bakery to sponsor one (1)person for the Storymoja Hay Festival Saturday Events.

Event: Storymoja Hay Festival

Date: Saturday, September 20th, 2014

Location: Nairobi National Museum

Time: 9 am to 6 pm.

There are night events, as the Sauti Sol concert is scheduled for 7 pm. (This is a separate charge however. (It is not included in our free ticket.)

What to do:

Answer the Following Two questions to the best of your ability:

1. What Type of Oven does  Amari Bakery use?

(Answer should be the type of Oven and the Name of the Company.)

2. Tell us Why You REALLY, REALLY Want to go to the Storymoja Hay Festival.  Impress us with your answer!

Amari Bakery and I will choose the winner and Make an Announcement by Friday September 12th, 2014.

Tickets1
1 (One) Free Ticket

Don’t worry, the winner will get their ticket delivered personally by me or the Amari Bakery Rep.  Here’s a picture of the Ticket!

Let’s go!

Ticket Available through collaboration with:

Amari Logo

Picture Perfect 5

Picture Perfect 5

flowers  An hour later, leaning on a tree in the gorgeous garden belonging to Taylor’s aunt, Victoria watched Eric focus his lens on a laughing Beth. They were standing by a bush of pink roses, Beth holding one up to her nose. Her wedding dress gorgeous in the afternoon sun. Victoria wondered what Eric was thinking as he took photographs of a woman he wished had been his. She watched him smile at Beth and frowned when a tinge of jealousy stirred inside her.  Turning away from them, she pushed off the tree and walked to the gazebo.  Eric’s bag was still on the bench. She retrieved her purse and perched on the bench.  She took her phone out and dialed Grace’s number.

“I was wondering when you’d call,” Grace said in greeting.  “The reception is going very well. We have just finished serving the guests lunch. We’re now waiting for the bridal party.”

She looked around and saw Eric and Taylor talking as the rest of the bridal party headed to their cars.

“We should be on the way over in the next ten minutes or so.”

“How is it?”

“Glamorous,” Victoria said studying the ranch-style brick house looming a few feet away.  “Taylor’s aunt houseshas a gorgeous house in Upper hill.  You’d never believe such a place exists so close to the CBD.”

“What else can you expect from such a family.”  Grace sighed.  “I have to go, some kids are running and causing havoc.  Call me when you get close to the hotel.”

“I will,” she said and Grace ended the call.

Returning her cell phone into her purse, she watched Eric part with Taylor and head back to the gazebo.

“Victoria,” Eric said.  “Why are you hiding away in here?”

“I’m not hiding, just resting my feet.”

She looked behind him to see Beth and Taylor kiss and head to their car. They looked blissful in marriage. She decided they were a very beautiful couple.

“I’m hoping we’re headed to the hotel now.”

“Yes, we are,” Eric said, then paused to study her. “I thought you liked it here. Don’t you want to stay? The house is empty and Taylor’s aunt won’t mind us exploring her compound.”

Victoria rolled her eyes at him playfully.

“I can just imagine that. Beth and Taylor will be angry with me if I keep you from your important job.”

“I’d much rather an afternoon with you exploring the outdoors,” Eric said then as he closed his camera bag.

Remembering how he’d smiled at Beth, she stood up and started for the gazebo steps.

“Then the faster we get to the hotel the better, that way this day will end quickly.”

“Wait,” Eric said behind her, but she didn’t.

Her steps fast as she walked along the gravel path to his car. He caught up with her just as she reached the Jeep.

“You’re upset. What did I say?”

“I’m not upset,” she said with a sigh. She didn’t have the right to be upset that he was still hang up on a woman who was now married. “What’s there to be upset about?”

Eric frowned as he met her gaze. “Nothing.”

“Exactly,” she said with a tight smile and hurried around to the passenger side. “Great, let’s go then.”

****

Victoria avoided Eric when they got to the reception at the Savon Hotel. She busied herself with activities that constantly had her working outside the ballroom. She helped Grace deal with the demands from the guests who felt entitled to the finest in life and therefore kept making orders that had the waiters on their feet.

She helped the wedding planner deal with the wedding gifts that filled the section they’d set aside. When friendsOlive showed up at around four o’clock, Grace urged them to head to the bar on the second floor.

“She’s driving me insane,” Grace said with a sigh. “She’s dressed in a gorgeous red dress, and all she can think about is work.”

“Hey, that’s not fair,” Victoria said keeping a watchful eye on Eric who was taking pictures of children eating candy.

The children sat on the floor in one corner of the ballroom and she would never have noticed them had it not been for Eric standing over them.

“Who’s the handsome photographer?” Olive asked slipping a hand over her right elbow. “He looks yummy.”

“Eric Kabuto,” Grace said. “Vicky’s date, she’s spent the last two hours avoiding him.”

Eric lifted his head as though he’d heard them talking about him. She looked away from him fast and started for the door.

“Grace, you’re right. You don’t need my help. We’ll be at the bar upstairs if you need anything.”

She dragged Olivia out of the ballroom.

“Wow, you haven’t acted like this since that guy you liked in college. What was his name?” Olive said as they headed upstairs. “Gatheru, Gatheri-,”

“Gathanga,” Victoria said. “You never liked him much.”

“He was an idiot,” Olive said.

Victoria laughed suddenly remembering Eric’s comment about ex-boyfriends and how women labeled them.

“How is that funny?” Olive asked as they entered the Tropical Isle bar.  She led the way to a set of high stools set around a polished mahogany counter.

“I just remembered how much Gathanga was afraid of you.  You threatened him with a knife once when he stood me up on a date. I think you’re the reason we broke up.”

Olive placed her purse on the counter and smiled.

“He didn’t deserve you.”

index2Victoria settled on her stool and studied Olive. She’d chosen a pink empire waist dress. The silky fabric framed her figure as she sat on her stool. Her long black natural hair falling down her back made her look younger; Victoria doubted anyone would believe Olive was a doctor.

The bartender took their orders and Victoria sat back on the high chair with a sigh.

“What’s with the photographer?” Olive asked when their drinks came.

Victoria sipped her white wine and shrugged. “He’s handsome.”

“I agree,” Olive said picking up an olive from her martini with her toothpick and popping it into her mouth. “Why are you running in the other direction?”

“In case you didn’t notice, I just recently broke up with a guy I could have married.”

“What does that have to do with the handsome photographer?” Olive asked with a frown. “Who is currently walking up to us.”

“What?” Victoria turned and gaped when she saw Eric walking up to them without his camera. “What are we going to do?”

Olive patted her cheek and smiled. “Make him pay for the drinks.”

Victoria shook her head wondering if there was a way to escape Eric without seeming rude. Since they’d come back from the photo shoot, she’d decided that it was better to keep her distance. She was starting to like him and he wasn’t available. Emotionally anyway, his thoughts belonged to someone else.

***

To be continued…Thank you for Reading. ^_^

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

The Nairobi Cake Festival – Unexpected and Delightful

cake festival

I was pleasantly surprised on Tuesday 22nd, when I got a message on my Facebook page from Edumed Trust.  The lady in charge of the Nairobi Cake Festival  had found my post on the cake festival 2014 and left me an apology for my strange experience to do with an Orange Tag.  I gave her my number, and she actually called me back.  She was amazing and apologetic.  It was great talking to her because it washed away that whole experience for me.  I’m grateful that she called me.  The Cake Festival 2015 is on the way back next year, and I look forward to it, so should you.

The Nairobi Cake Festival

Exif_JPEG_420The festival is a premier industry event in Nairobi. It offers a unique opportunity for industry gurus; home based traders, as well as starters to not only open up their service to thousands of visitors but also establish links in the industry under one forum from hospitality, wedding business, catering, latest cakes, designs and dessert to beverage and kitchen equipment. The festival is enriched with healthy options, education about the industry & wide range of opportunities that draw thousands of visitors.  All this makes it the perfect place to reach the retail or food service.

Edumed Trust is a Kenyan Christian Charitable Trust that grants secondary school scholarships to bright needy students. The trust established in 1996 has been working with various disadvantaged and needy communities in Kenya. The trust found it necessary to expand its support base beyond education of children to also offering small and home based businesses marketing and advancement opportunities.

The focus area is the food industry specifically baking owing to its potential through an annual event dubbed The Cake Festival. In doing this, The Cake Festival not only helps Edumed in creating awareness about being our brother’s keeper but also helps small scale vendors realize their potential and also participates in the achievement of Vision 2030’s economic pillar and social pillar which states that no society can gain social cohesion if significant sections of the population live in abject poverty and hence exclusion from available opportunities.

Join the Cause, Sign up Next Year as a Baker, or just go and enjoy the Day eating Free Cake.  See you at the Nairobi Cake Festival 2015.

Related Posts:

The Nairobi 2014 Cake Fest & An Orange Tag Lady

The Nairobi 2014 Cake Fest & An Orange Tag Woman

Exif_JPEG_420
Krumble’s Cake Stand

All you can eat Cakes @ the Nairobi Cake Festival 2014

This weekend, I got to attend and participate in the Nairobi Cake Festival 2014.  If you love Cake, this is the place you should have been on Saturday, 6/28/2014.  Tickets were Kshs. 600 – Adults and Kshs. 350 for kids for Advance Tickets, but Kshs. 750 for Adults and Kshs. 450 for kids, at the entrance on the day of the festival.  The cost was worth it, as the moment you enter the festival, it was an all you can eat cake buffet.  There are loads of Cake Houses and Bakers in Nairobi, and most of them were present.  If you got in, you got to eat free cake from each cake house…, as much as you wanted.

About the Cake Festival

The festival is a premier industry event in Nairobi! It offers a unique opportunity for industry gurus; home based traders, as well as starters to not only open up their service to thousands of visitors but also establish links in the industry under one forum from hospitality, wedding business, catering, latest cakes, designs and dessert to beverage and kitchen equipment. The festival is enriched with healthy options, education about the industry & wide range of opportunities that draw thousands of visitors.  All this makes it the perfect place to reach the retail or food service.

Positives

Exif_JPEG_420
Kate’s Bakers Cakes

1. Eating Free Cake!  The bakers participating had gone all out.  There were cakes with different flavors, small and big, cupcakes, cookies, too sweet, too healthy, just right…if you can think of it, it was there.  My favorite cakes were from the Valentine Cake House.  Those guys really nailed the White Forest, it was amazing!!

2. Of course, I wasn’t there just to eat Cake…, I was also helping out at the Cookswell Jikos Stand.  They were showcasing Charcoal Ovens and Amari Bakery got to use one of them to bake cupcakes.  I met Teddy Kinyanjui from Cookswell and his staff.  Great guys, we ate baked sausages for lunch..lolz.  We gave cake to hundreds of people, at first I stumbled through explanations on the merits of cooking with a Cookswell Charcoal Oven as well as the merits of getting a class from Amari Bakery. Exif_JPEG_420 But, an hour into it, I’d become a pro…”Hello, would you love a taste of our cakes? These tasty treats were baked using a Cookswell Charcoal Oven.  It’s economical, and gives you the same results as an electrical jiko.  Would you like to see how it works?  If you’d like one, here’s a card, call and you’ll get it delivered right at home.  You can call us, Amari Bakery, and we’ll train you/show you how to use one if you’re unsure….”  Yeah, something like that.  I usually have to work at talking to people, so this was good practice.  I got to meet loads of people, some funny, others interesting, others skeptical, all in all, Nairobians Love Cake!!

Negatives

Hmmm…I got there all excited for cake but, my joys were dampened by a woman who was holding an orange Baker’s tag hostage.   We had tickets, bought in advance and everything, but when it was time to get a tag that said I was working at one of the stands, it turned into a mini-struggle.  Mostly, she had the tag, and wouldn’t give it to me.

Photo28560It started with me running into one of the security men called in to keep everyone safe and running smoothly.  He asked me for a tag, and I showed him my ticket.  He directed me to the entrance tent where I was to get an orange tag to say I was also working at the festival.  The guys at the entrance tent were very helpful, telling me to find a woman who was responsible for the tags.  I went back to find her, but she was nowhere to be found.  Suddenly, the field was evacuated for security checks and weighing competing cakes.

On the way back in, I met with her finally, and she refused to give me the tag.  The Cookswell Jikos Rep., Teddy,  kept telling them I’m working with him, but she just wouldn’t listen.  Alas, we’d met with one of those ladies who just want to make the day turn into a nightmare for you.  I’m not sure why she was acting this way, but I thought it was wrong.  I might have been a newbie at the festival, and working for someone else, but I had a valid ticket, paid for in the right channels.  She was treating me like I’d stolen the ticket or something, and if it had gotten worse, I think those G-men in black suits would have G-forced me out while I was still holding my Valid Ticket.  When she finally relented, my mood for cake was seriously in the dumps.

Thankfully, things looked up when I had to concentrate on serving cake and selling Charcoal Ovens.

Exif_JPEG_420
View from the Cookswell Jikos Stand

What do I take out of these Festival?

People getting Cake
People getting Cake

1. It is a great opportunity for Bakers.  If you want to open a Bakery or have one and would love exposure, join the Nairobi Cake Festival next year.  Get people to taste your cakes, and know more about you.  There are hundreds of  people who show up for the festival, and if they taste your products and love them, then they’ll want to buy more cakes from you at a later date.

2.  It is a fun opportunity to taste cake for FREE.  Granted the cost of the ticket might be a bit steep, but on the brighter side, you get to eat Cake as much as you want.  Imagine close to one hundred tents, each one serving you up a slice of cake for free.

3. The Cake Festival is also a way to give back.  They sponsor kids to go to school from the proceeds of the festival.  So, joining, and attending, you’re helping a child who needs education.

Elly in Nairobi Thoughts:

I’m Volunteering for the Storymoja Hay Festival in September.  I made a vow not to be what that woman at the Cake Fest was to me.  I’ll seriously work at not becoming the source of negativity for someone coming to enjoy their day at the festival.  It is worse when that person has bought a ticket, and was just hoping for a good time.  This just reminds me that I’ll help anyone who wants to start a movement on Good Customer Service in Kenya.  Anyone interested in starting a Customer Service Training School, Kenya needs you!  This isn’t the first time I’ve been punished for spending money.  It’s like the staff in any given company just takes it out on you if you ask one simple question, or don’t know the rules, they take your head off like you’re bothering them. From Bank Tellers, Phone Company Customer Care, Electricity Company Customer Care, and now Festival Ticketing people….someone help Nairobi.

So, will I go next year?  Maybe, possibly just as a visitor, and not a participant. I’d like to forget my run-in with Orange Tag Woman.